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Farming folk sought for top award

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Farming businesses in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire that have recently established a new enterprise are being sought for the George F White Farm Diversification Award 2014.

The Award will be presented at the Driffield Show on Wednesday 16 July and comprises a £500 prize plus a trophy.

Anna Fell of George F White said: “We are looking for farming businesses which have used their skill and innovation to diversify their business and develop a new product or service on their farm in the last five years. Many farmers have found diversifying their business an extremely rewarding way of providing a stable income and improving profitability in a time of volatility in agricultural markets”.

Last year’s winner was Stepney Hill Farm Butchery and Farm Shop, run by Ashley Tyson and his family near Scarborough.

Tom Mason, partner with George F White, commented: “We chose Stepney Hill Farm Butchery and Farm Shop as the award winners in 2013 because of the way they clearly identified the market they wanted to target and knew there would be a demand for their quality produce.

“Since they opened in 2011 they have expanded rapidly, now supplying all the top restaurants and hotels in Scarborough, as well as having a butchery, shop and tea room open at the farm.

“The business, even in the early stages, has demonstrated a good return on investment and is now benefitting from a strong increase in demand even in today’s tough economic climate”.

Stepney Hill Farm has been in the Tyson family since 1966 and has 560 acres of land, 530 acres of which are permanent pasture and clover paddocks on which animals sold through the butchery and shop are reared.

Originally a dairy farm, then with sheep and contracting interests, six years ago, brothers Ashley and James Tyson took over the farm from their father and began to consider diversifying further.

Raising breeds including Shorthorn cross beef, Saddleback pork, Swaledale and Texel cross lamb and mutton, they began with a boxed meat service delivered direct to households.

Due to the high quality and flavour of the meat produced, demand for this service grew and two years ago the brothers decided to invest in building their own butchery facilities and farm shop and start supplying commercial businesses in the area.

Mr Tyson was “absolutely delighted” to win the award last year which he felt recognised how hard the team had worked to build the business.

Previous winners of the award have also included Gold from the Wold (2010), Raisthorpe Flyers (2011), and Anna’s Happy Trotters (2012).

For details on how to enter this year and to download an application form, visit: www.georgefwhite.co.uk/events/driffield-show-2014

 

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